Scissors, Nurse, Scissors


Author: Greta Barnes
Published: 2009, Obelisk Books; reprinted 2010
Format: Paperback, 96 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9557206-1-1



These extracts from Greta Barnes’ diaries, written during the period she was a student nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, provide an illuminating insight into life as a trainee in a London teaching hospital in the 1950s and 60s. Her father encouraged Greta to keep a daily hospital journal, and they had been “tucked out of sight” for many years until Greta re-read them as the 50th anniversary of the beginning of her training approached. She says that “Whilst it is a personal story, it also provides a snapshot of what many British hospitals were like at the time. Discipline was often harsh but patient care was never compromised.”

About the Author

Greta Barnes (née Tisdale) trained as a nurse at Barts from 1959 to 1962 and was the founder/chief executive of the National Asthma and Respiratory Training Centre from 1986 until her retirement in 2001. She was awarded the MBE in 1995, lives in a village in the Cotswolds, and has a large close family including nine grandchildren.